The aboriginal community development course held a silent demonstration on campus yesterday hoping that the unorthodox assignment would benefit students looking for practical experience organizing community events.
The demonstration was in response to the Jobs and Growth Act referred to as Bill C-45 which opponents say limits protection of Canada’s protected waterways.
Testing students on social action
Course instructor Justin Wilson said the goal of the assignment was to get students to apply what they learned in order to cause real social change.
“We can talk about the different approaches that aboriginal people have taken to community development, but it’s another thing all together for them to do it,” Wilson said.
Students enjoyed the grassroots aspect of organizing their own demonstration.
Whole new meaning for hands-on learning
“They enjoy that they’re doing a practical community development exercise as opposed to just learning in class,” said Lara Terlaak, a student in the course and one of three designated group leaders.
Having a group project as the last assignment was fitting said Allysa Paul, another student in the course.
“Aboriginal communities are based on working together, trusting and helping each other,” she said.
Though it may seem more simple to prepare than a final exam, organizing and coordinating roles and responsibilities for the demonstration was not easy.
“There was definitely some stipulations in order to receive a good grade on this project. Attendance was mandatory, of course. We also had to do a lot of background research as to what [Bill C-45] meant,” Paul said.
Reported by Brian Horstead